Small Wars Journal

The Post-Afghanistan Threat Environment

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The Post-Afghanistan Threat Environment:

A Case Study on the Maldives

by Jason Thomas

Download The Full Article: The Post-Afghanistan Threat Environment

The conflict in Afghanistan is one of the longest military engagements in modern warfare for Western governments and their partners. At the same time there is continued agitation and provocation from non-state actors, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Righteous), based along the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. There is an unparalleled amount of human and technological surveillance focused on monitoring the flow of funds and fighters to Afghanistan. Yet, the next seed of radicalization to have regional and global consequences has been planted in small Islamic nation states or those who previously have not registered as potential breeding grounds. This paper argues that this is an asymmetric response by non-state Islamic actors to our superiority in surveillance and concentration of overwhelming force being applied in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan. By their very nature, non-state actors such as al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba are borderless movements. They do not rely on a one-dimensional front line and use impressionable segments of society or fragile nations with porous borders as hosts. One such nation is the Maldives. There is also a growth in al Qaeda networks within Mauritiania, Nepal, Bangladesh and Somalia.

Download The Full Article: The Post-Afghanistan Threat Environment

Jason Thomas is a former Regional Manager for a USAID Implementing Partner in Afghanistan. He has also worked extensively in the Civil War area in Sri Lanka, negotiating with the Tamil Tigers as well as being a senior political advisor in the British House of Commons. He is a PhD candidate at Curtin University, Perth W.A Australia -- in his spare time he takes disadvantaged kids up the Kokoda Track battlefield in PNG.

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